You Can Learn From Michael Jackson

Born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana as the seventh child of the Jackson family, Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. He had made his entrance into the professional music scene in 1968 at the age of 11 only as a member of “The Jackson 5”. He then began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the “King of Pop” in subsequent years, his 1982 album Thriller remains the world’s best-selling album of all time and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall in 1979, Bad in1987, Dangerous in 1991 and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I in 1995. One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career, and the sale of 750 million records worldwide. At the time of his death, he was preparing for This Is It, a series of 50 concerts that would have been held in London beginning July 13, 2009. But on June 25, 2009, he took his last breath and left for his heavenly abode.

Undoubtedly, there are few people in history that affect others like Michael Jackson did and still does. While there are people who idolize him, there are others who are sickened by the sight of him or the mention of his name. That is the challenge when talking about Michael Jackson. If you liked him, my version of his working may be comfortable to you. If you don’t like him, I may ask you now to set that factor aside for a few moments, how ever difficult that may be. It will be worth it to you.

Because, what you must accept, embrace and keep in mind for the rest of your life is that every single person you meet, see, hear or read about can teach you important lessons… lessons on what to do or say, what not to, how to improve and become more successful or happy in life. And Michael Jackson, we can take him in this perspective. For all of his problems, like everyone else, he can also teach us all lessons about success in any area of life. Those lessons can change you for the better… forever.

Now, unlike the hero-worshipper types, I personally was just fascinated by how effortlessly he moved, how he danced as if floating above the ground, and how he could sing practically any style of music. Until the mid 1980s, when I didn’t yet understand what it took to be successful at anything, I’d see talent like that and, like many other people, assumed that it was all God-given and that all came so easy to those like Michael Jackson and other accomplished, successful people. I never looked beyond the performance and asked, “How did he gain those skills?”

But a few years after “Thriller” (the best selling album of all time) came out, I saw a news story about him. In interviews with him and those who knew him well, I learned that he had been dancing and singing and entertaining since he was a very young child, for some 18 or so years before “Thriller” was released.

He told of the years of constant practice it took to be able to move and dance and sing the way he did. Years and years of daily practice he put in. Oh sure, he obviously had natural talent, like all of the most successful people in any field do. But talent alone is never enough. It cannot take you very far. All of have something that we could be great at. But sadly, few ever develop their talents to any degree. So talent alone won’t take you anywhere unless you are ready, willing, and able to put the time and effort in to develop it.

So, I started watching closely the most successful people in every field. It became an obsession. I read about them, listened to them, and pondered their thought processes concerning the areas of life where they were most skilled.

Business, entertainment, sports, fitness, social skills, politics, academia… it didn’t matter. Successful people share a few definite traits that make them successful. They work at it. And more, they love it… Love what they do so much, they’re willing to invest their time.

And like anyone whose ever studied success like I did, it became clear to me that I could change my life 180 degrees if I could just commit myself to excellence and went about learning and working toward some meaningful, worthwhile goals.

I thought, “If I could get myself to learn and study and practice the profession of sales, I could become successful at anything. I came to believe that if I could learn to motivate myself, to ignore temptation, to ignore people who wanted to keep me down, to keep my eyes on my objectives, then I could literally be anything I wanted to be. That is what I convinced myself of.

And like Michael Jackson, I practiced with purpose for many hours each day, becoming among the best in the world in that one skill-set. And it all started with watching someone who seemed to float over the ground, as if he wasn’t even touching it.

You see, with practice, we can all accomplish amazing things. The key is to be able to gain a high level of control over your mind. Do that and I don’t care what your disability, or what excuses you’ve ever had for your failings or your emotional breakdowns… when you can gain control over your thoughts and emotions, you are in the driver’s seat of your life.

The event that first grabbed me was seeing Michael Jackson float on air. After that, there were many other people who kept me convinced that with a powerful mind and trained skills comes success.

Now, no one will ever gain complete mastery over their minds. But the good news is, you don’t have to. You just need to control it enough to keep yourself, confident, motivated, facing in the right direction and to never quit. That is all successful people do.

Here, I would like to remind you the story of the tortoise and the hare? The hair had the most God-given talent, but he didn’t stay focused. The tortoise was slow, but he stayed focused on his goal and didn’t quit. So he, not the hare won the race. That is so simple to understand… But how many people do meaningful work they love, master it and develop their talents like they expect others to do?

This is why Michael Jackson could become one of the world’s best dancers, singers and entertainers, but at the same time was a failure in other important parts of his life, unable to manage any degree of normality. Make sense? He had started his career with utmost focus and succeeded but unfortunately in course of time, he lost the focus and indulged into other fields too which were not conducive to his expertise known to the world. It is learnt that he was under pressure to perform the concert of London as that was to solve out his financial problems as well. It means that he could not manage his financial affairs so well.

We must keep our focus as Michael Jackson did in gaining his professional expertise and control our affairs more stringently, which Michael could not do perhaps due to his own interests for diversion or any other reason best known to him. We may try to learn from his consistent working to gain expertise in dancing, singing and entertaining.

Be Happy – You can learn even from Michael Jackson whether you have any concern with his profession or not or whether he was younger or older.


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